What do Indians love to gift the most? Archies executive's answer is NOT a surprise!

What do Indians love to gift the most? Archies executive's answer is NOT a surprise!

Diwali is just three weeks away and as people re-connect with loved ones, gifting business will recover to pre-pandemic levels, predicts Executive Director of Archies Ltd, Varun Moolchandani in a conversation with Business Today.  

People are getting back to exchanging presents again, says gift-seller People are getting back to exchanging presents again, says gift-seller

With Diwali only three weeks away, the gifting season is back. According to a top executive of the iconic gifting company Archies, Indians love to gift teddy bears and mugs the most. They also spend the most on Valentine's Day, followed by Mother's Day and Diwali.

Executive Director,  Archies Ltd, Varun Moolchandani told Business Today that gifting business is slowly getting back on its feet and the trends for recovery started showing from Valentine’s Day. 

Archies is a 42-years-old gifting company with a market cap of Rs 63 crore. 

 “We saw the signs in Valentine’s Day itself when despite the Omicron scare, people spent on gifts. On Mothers’ Day too we had significant sales. This Diwali we think will be bringing us pre-pandemic sales numbers. By the coming Valentines Day 2023, we will be witnessing significant recovery,” Moolchandani said.  

During the pandemic, Archies pulled shutters down on 75 stories across India – most of these were located in malls. 

Post-pandemic, the company has restructured its physical presence. “Over last six months, we have opened 16 stores. Before the pandemic, 60 per cent of our stores were in malls. Now we will be shifting 60 per cent of our stores to high streets. Because of the revenue sharing model of sales that most malls operate on, we have decided to make a change in our physical presence to have more control on our operations,” Moolchandani added.

A significant amount of sales has also shifted online during the same period. 

“We are present on online-commerce platforms and on October 10, we are opening an online store which will allow people to access our gifting service from anywhere in the world,” he added.  

In FY 21-22, Archies has disclosed sales worth over Rs 75 crore, including both online and offline sales figures. 

The nature of gifts in India in recent years has gone through significant change with home-grown, made-in-India brands becoming more and more popular.  However, the dominating products on the gift shop racks continue to be mugs, teddy bears and combination gifts.  

“Chinese gifts are still quite popular and most Indians choose either a mug or a soft toy when then plan to gift. Sometime, people also like to combine a few things and make a pack,” Moolchandani said. 

Handmade and homegrown gifts though an upcoming trend will take some time to catch up with mainstream gifting business feels Moolchandani. 

“It is nice to see people creating small brands and developing unique products. We do platform some of these brands- not everyone drives scale, but it is interesting to see new varieties of products. Collaborations between a large platform like ours and niche brands is always possible. We also have specific tie ups for our watches, home décor, perfumes and more. Our own products still are mainly paper-based – greeting cards and stationery,” Moolchandani added.  

However, people who are now going back to gifting with enthusiasm in the current festive season is a limited segment, feels Arvind Singhal, Chairman, Technopak.

"There is a relatively small segment of population that has the discretionary money to spend on non-essentials. Hence, one has to careful in extrapolating such spending to the overall consumer spending,” Singhal told Business Today.